The Spanish government has proposed new legislation for digital media that, among other changes, imposes the payment of a new tax on mobile messengers such as WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage and Skype, among others.
The idea of the proposal is to consider instant chat services in a category of “operators”. Within this classification, companies that earn more than € 1 million in revenue in the country will have to pay € 1 for each € 1 thousand obtained.
According to the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures, Roberto Sanchéz, these services “have changed the way we consume communication services” and should be revised by legislation.
Everything can change
According to the Xataka website, the law is part of the Anteproyecto de Ley General de Telecomunicaciones, a measure of the Spanish government to regulate the sector in the country. During the month of October, the government will open space for deliberations by the population before any vote – and this segment related to messengers should be one of the most contested.
Several points are still confused in the project, especially the issue of revenue. After all, both WhatsApp and Telegram are free to use and have no working ads or other source of income. That is, they would not even have a prescription to prove it and would not be included in the legislation. WhatsApp’s payments service would be an alternative, but it still doesn’t have a forecast to reach the country.
An alternative would be to collect revenue from Facebook, the company that owns the application and also from Instagram. For now, none of the companies that maintain any of the aforementioned chat apps have spoken out about the case.